When I judge a person it never defines who they are, it defines who I am.
I have a guilty pleasure. It’s not Disney, that’s all pleasure and no guilt. Nor is it watching Lorraine Kelly on catch-up when I come home from work. It’s reading the Daily Mail showbiz pages: pleasure because I love entertainment and showbiz, guilty because it’s a paper full of scaremongering, hate and judgement. Who are they dating? Look who’s splashed out on a new car! They’re too OLD to DRESS like that!?
It’s not limited to the Daily Mail. Rarely do you read a newspaper article or interview where they don’t tell you how old the people involved are. It gives you a picture of them, a picture so you can judge if their actions are age appropriate, whether it’s Miley Cyrus twerking all over the place or David Dimbleby getting a tattoo. It doesn’t stop at celebrities either. We want to know how old the local business man is, or the thug who’s just been convicting for attacking a bystander, or the mother-of-seven on benefits.
I hate the obsession we have in society with age, that it should alone define so much about you. It’s wrong. It’s just as wrong as saying ‘she’s dumb because she’s blonde’, ‘he’s not British, he’s Muslim’ or ‘you’re gay, you must hate Christians’. They’re all snap judgements and they’re not OK.
‘Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends’
There’s another page in the papers where age is all important: the obituaries. My Dad was 63 when he died, ‘taken too soon’. I hate that he was one of 40,000 men that year to die because of prostate cancer, how totally and irreversibly it turns the lives of entire families upside from the second it’s diagnosed. Then there’s the 4000 people who were forced from their land in Cacarica, Colombia because of the conflict; the 30 million people who have died because of HIV/Aids; the girl shot at for going to school, the homophobic bullying that defends itself as ‘banter’. In short, I hate injustice.
‘Hate what is evil, love what is right and see that justice prevails in the courts.’
I shouldn’t go round judging celebrities (or anyone else) even if the press tell me they’re fair game, or looking at teenager with his hood up on he street and thinking I know what kind of person they must be. It’s not OK for me to judge other people. But it is OK to seek out injustice in the world and judge that as wrong. It’s more than OK, it’s my job as a human to stand up to injustice. It’s actually my day job at the moment as a Christian Aid Collective Intern to do something about global poverty.
It is everyone’s job to be judgemental about injustices in the world, but don’t stop there: switch to fairtrade tea, write to your MP, volunteer for a local charity, stop being casually sexist, take part in a fundraiser. Be judgemental, be a hero and do something.
You can visit my Mo Space to see how my moustache has grown and donate to Movember